Hair Type: 4b, 4c
How long have you been natural?:
I'm happy to say in December 2014, I'll be three years natural! I'm very excited.
Why did you go natural?:
I went natural because my hair was severely thin, especially around the edges and crown. My growth was stunted too. Each time after relaxing I would expect to have longer hair, but I was stuck at one length. Back in 2008 I took a year off from relaxers, cut my hair short and my mom pressed and curled my hair. It grew back nicely, but in 2011 I started having thinning and shedding.
A short regimen you can share:
Hot oil treatments consisting of jojoba, Neem, Castor, and Olive and tea tree oils. I co-wash three to four times a month and shampoo (non-sulfate) once a month. Deep conditioning and leave-in conditioners are a must have or my hair doesn't act right. Moisture retention is everything!
What are some of your favorite products?:
I use Jane Carter Creamy co-wash conditioner and Shea Moisture Retention shampoo. I do hang on to Care Free Curl Gold Activator and just started using vegetable glycerin. Ladies if you have trouble with moisture retention or split ins, curl activators and veggie glycerin are excellent ways of maintaining moisture in the hair!
Also, I usually make my own moisturizers and gels consisting of flaxseed, fenugreek seeds, hibiscus, and other ingredients. In the fall, I hope to launch my own line with two or three products.
What are some of your favorite styles?:
Twists and braid outs using flexi or perm rods at the end.
What is your most favorite and least thing about being natural?:
My favorite thing about being natural is my hair grows nice and thick! My edges are so full its unbelievable. I do plan to have my mother give me a press and curl around the holidays.
Aw, man. Well, there have been times when I try getting my hair in a specific style and it won't do it! Violet (my hair) is very stubborn and sometimes wants to run wild.
What is one piece of advice that all women should have (pertaining to confidence)?:
You need to stop worrying about what other people think about your natural hair.
In the beginning after my big chop I wore wigs because I didn't like the way my TWA looked on me.( I have a long face lol). Plus I'm used to length. Hair doesn't/shouldn't define who you are. I gave up my wigs because I had a patch of thinning hair along my right temple where the wig cap ended and a bad experience with braid extensions didn't help matters. The health of your come first.
It has taken me some time to adjust to wearing my natural hair without wigs and twist extensions. In September of last year I vowed I was going to get locs. My patience was thin and I became a product junkie. See, I really didn't get to know my natural hair after big chopping because I started covering up with the wigs. And no, there is nothing wrong with wearing wigs and braid extensions. I did take care of my natural hair beneath them, but at the time, I still wanted straight hair. Hey, I'm being honest. I've come a long way and I'm very happy with my natural hair.
What natural hair bloggers/vloggers inspire you?:
Geez, there are a ton of Bloggers/Vloggers that have inspired me but I'll list a few here:
African Export ~ I love her sense of humor!
IamMamaDaye! She's hilarious and you should check out her make up videos.
NeziNapps, of course, Naptural85, LovelyAnneka, My Natural Sisters. Seriously, I've subscribed to almost half of Youtube. They really have been my inspiration and I hope I'll be able to inspire ladies too.
Do you have any advice on going natural?:
Do your research, there's a plethora of information on the web now, but remember; what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Everyone's hair is different. Also, don't compare your hair to someone else's. You'll get frustrated. Instead, work with and embrace your unique texture.
Oh, and don't give a damn what anyone thinks of your natural hair and make you second guess yourself! I've had my fair share of snake eyes, eyebrow raising, giggles and smirks from the public peanut gallery. Ignore them and do what's best for you. Last year, if my hair wasn't totally defined or shrank, I wouldn't step out of the house until I pulled it up in a puff. Guess what? Right now as I type this, my hair is out and my hair is coiled. Yes, there is frizz and you know what? I'm comfy with that!